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3/19 Update: Taking Computers Home

IT teams within the college have been working on strategies to enable staff to work from remote locations using UF equipment. We now have three options available to you.

  1. Remote Desktop – This option is ideal for individuals that have older computers or slow internet speeds from home. Remote Desktop allows you to take control of your work PC that is on the UF campus from your home. The advantage of this solution is you have full access to the suite of software and applications that you normally have on your office computer, but the disadvantage is that the responsiveness of the machine may be a little sluggish at times. This is probably the best option for the majority of people. In order to use Remote Desktop, you will need to have a computer at home that is capable of using the UF Cisco VPN client, some form of basic internet access, and open a ticket with your IT team to enable Remote Desktop on your work PC.
  2. Standalone Computer Check-out – With this option, we will temporarily issue you an older computer that you may take home and use. That computer will come pre-loaded with Windows 10, Microsoft Office 365, Zoom, and the VPN client. You will be given an administrative password on the machine, which will allow you to add/remove software as needed. We will treat this machine as if it was a “self-managed machine” – you will have full administrative access to it, you will need to make sure that security patches and updates are applied to it, and the machine will be wiped clean when it is returned to us. This option is suitable for people with slow internet, but realize the machines are older and slower than your normal desktop. We only have about 40 computers that we can check-out, so those will be on a first come, first serve basis and we ask that you only use this option if neither options 1 or 3 will work for you.
  3. Primary Workstation Check-out – We now have the ability to allow you to take your primary computer home and have it function as if it was plugged into the UF network. This option will allow you to have access to all of the software and applications you are used to running and your machine will continue to be patched and updated. However, logging into your computer will be a little slow while it is making those connections to the UF network and servers. We have tested this option from a rural internet provider (3MB DSL) and it does work, but it took four or five minutes to login. Your workstation will continue to be remotely managed by college IT teams and the “user experience” will be mostly identical.

To use any of these three options, you will need to have internet access at your house. Because the desktops we purchase all come with wired ethernet, in order to use option 2 or 3, you will either need to purchase a Wireless ethernet adapter or connect the computer directly to your cable modem; we will provide you with an ethernet cable that you can use to connect the computer.

In order to begin the process of enabling remote desktop, checking out a loaner computer, or taking your primary workstation home, you will first need to open a ticket with your IT team. Their contact information is below:

Faculty that are serviced by other organizations, such as the Museum of Natural History or EPI, should coordinate with their IT support team and ask if their team is allowing equipment to be taken home.

I realize these are extraordinary times and all of us in CLAS IT appreciate your patience.

My best,
Ken Sallot

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